Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs hoisted the Lombardi Trophy high into the humid Arizona sky on Sunday night, but as Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts watched on following an agonising defeat, the only thought running through his mind would have been ‘what more could I have done.’
Hurts registered perhaps his greatest performance in an Eagles jersey to date, single-handedly ripping through the Chiefs defense with 70 rushing yards and three scores while also causing all sorts of problems through the air, posting 304 passing yards including a dazzling 45-yard throw for an AJ Brown touchdown.
In doing so, he broke the record for the most QB rushing yards in a Super Bowl, while Otto Graham is the only other quarterback to rush for three touchdowns in the postseason having done so 79 years ago. His three rushing scores is also a Super Bowl record, joining Terrel Davis as the only other player to achieve this feat.
It makes it all the more impressive that he has spearheaded a 14-3 season for Philly in just his second year as a fully-fledged starter, which leaves a huge blank canvas for the 24-year-old to etch his name into NFL history in the future.
It wasn’t to be the dreamy conclusion to an almost inconceivable season for the Eagles. Patrick Mahomes also showed just why he is deserving of the overall MVP for this year, and has taken on the mantle of the league’s superlative QB since Tom Brady pulled the curtain down on his career.
This is my MVP, and I feel he should of got Super Bowl MVP #SuperBowl2023 #NFL @JalenHurts pic.twitter.com/j7f0D4GAJg
— Coach Buck (@buck62757815) February 13, 2023
Despite clocking in with a season-low of 182 passing yards against Philadelphia, he set a new record this year with 5,614 in total, while his three touchdown passes remained integral to Kansas’ eventual three point win on Sunday.
Mahomes’ Super Bowl MVP award almost felt inevitable after the year he had, but his performance was far from the dizzying heights of some of his more memorable season highlights; perhaps his five passing touchdowns in the opener against Arizona, or the 132.4 rating against the 49ers in October.
Only one player has ever been named the Super Bowl MVP as a runner-up – Chuck Howley back in 1970 after the Baltimore Colts claimed a late field goal to edge past the Cowboys.
Hurts can certainly feel hard done by in what will almost certainly go down as one of the defining performances in a Super Bowl. Although an MVP match award will have been the last thing on his mind after succumbing to defeat, a 103.4 passer rating combined with two Super Bowl records begs a genuine debate over the media and fans’ eventual decision.
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